Apply to the Capacity Development Fund

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What is the Capacity Development Fund?

As part of a huge network spanning across the globe, BirdLife is dedicated to helping our Partners grow and to empowering them to make their conservation visions a reality. The Capacity Development Fund (CDF) was created to increase the power of our BirdLife Partners, making organisations stronger, more secure, and able to keep making an impact in the long term.

Why Should You Apply?

Tired of relying on sporadic funding? Waiting for a spark to catalyse innovation? Wanting to scale up your impact? You should apply because the Fund is the key BirdLife mechanism to making lasting change for your organisation and for sustaining conservation impact’.

  • There are different types of support which can develop your organisation and staff in different and innovative ways.
  • It’s evidence-based – we diagnose the most pressing areas to improve, based on a Quality-Assurance System: = “we provide bespoke support to organisations where they need it the most”
  • BirdLife is able to provide a unique centralised funding mechanism to the Partnership, based on individual needs, for lasting change and maximum conservation impact 
  • The CDF is also a network where Partners can learn from each other and increase the overall impact on the common goal of conserving biodiversity worldwide

Types of Grants

In 2019, we are accepting proposals from BirdLife Partners in in the following countries: Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Malta, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Palestine, Portugal, Syria, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Tunisia. This call for proposals offers five levels of grants:


•             Catalytic Small Grants: Up to £10,000/€10,000 per project

•             Catalytic Medium-size Grants:  Up to £25,000/€25,000 per project

•             Catalytic Large-size Grants: Up to £50,000/€50,000 per project

•             Technical Assistance: Up to £5,000/€5,000 per project

•             Thematic Grants: Up to £10,000/€10,000 per project

•             Ad Hoc Capacity Development Opportunity: Up to £1,500/€1,500 per person


The application deadline for Medium and Large-size Grants is 1st September 2019.

Applications for Catalytic Small Grants, Technical Assistance, Thematic Grants and Ad Hoc Capacity Development Opportunities will be on a rolling basis until 1st March 2020.

How do I apply?

To apply for any of the grants, consult your Regional Focal Point, outlining your project idea and its suitability for your chosen category. Then submit an application to the CDF Management Team at

Successful projects will need to demonstrate they are addressing corrective measures identified by diagnostics tools such as the Quality Assurance System. The Grants Awards Selection Committee will favourably consider projects that demonstrate innovation and ability to test new approaches for capacity development.

For additional questions or advice, please email

You can access all of the relevant documents here:

Grants Criteria

Guide to Application Form

Application Form

Budget Template